The new show debuted on August 30, 1993, and was taped at the historic Ed Sullivan Theater, where Ed Sullivan broadcast his eponymous variety series from 1948 to 1971.
For Letterman's arrival, CBS spent But while the expectation was that Letterman would retain his unique style and sense of humor with the move, Late Show was not an exact replica of his old NBC program.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.
The David Letterman Show (host, 1980)Late Night with David Letterman (host, 1982–93)Late Show with David Letterman (host, 1993–2015)My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (host, 2018–) David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer.
Letterman interviewed Mario Andretti, who had just crashed out of the race.
Jimmie Walker saw him on stage; with an endorsement from George Miller, Letterman joined a group of comedians whom Walker hired to write jokes for his stand-up act, a group that at various times would also include Jay Leno, Paul Mooney, Robert Schimmel, Richard Jeni, Louie Anderson, Elayne Boosler, Byron Allen, Jack Handey, and Steve Oedekerk.
His dry, sarcastic humor caught the attention of scouts for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and Letterman was soon a regular guest on the show.
In one infamous appearance, in 1982, Andy Kaufman (who was already wearing a neck brace) appeared with professional wrestler Jerry Lawler, who slapped and knocked the comedian to the ground (though Lawler and Kaufman's friend Bob Zmuda later revealed that the event was staged).
In 1992, Johnny Carson retired, and many fans believed that Letterman would become host of The Tonight Show.
When NBC instead gave the job to Jay Leno, Letterman departed NBC to host his own late-night show on CBS, opposite The Tonight Show at p.m., called the Late Show with David Letterman.
Recognizing the more formal mood (and wider audience) of his new time slot and studio, Letterman eschewed his trademark blazer with khaki pants and white wrestling shoes wardrobe combination in favor of expensive shoes, tailored suits and light-colored socks. Paul Shaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band followed Letterman to CBS, but they added a brass section and were rebranded the CBS Orchestra (Shaffer's request); a small band had been mandated by Carson while Letterman occupied the slot.
Additionally, because of intellectual property disagreements, Letterman was unable to import many of his Late Night segments verbatim, but he sidestepped this problem by simply renaming them (the "Top Ten List" became the "Late Show Top Ten", "Viewer Mail" became the "CBS Mailbag", etc.) Time magazine stated that "Letterman's innovation ...